• Pudge on YouTube on TV on YouTube

    If you missed the opening of the Republican debate last week, you can watch a YouTube clip of broadcast TV of the eight candidates watching a YouTube clip of Chris Nandor singing his song about them.

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIDFDCFa2xM&rel=1]

    If only he could have worked in a mention of Perl 5.10!

  • State of the Onion 2007: Let's go scripting

    It makes me sad to hear Perl programming called "scripting". "Stop saying script" is a common refrain of mine. I gave a lightning talk about this at OSCON 2007, and a few hours later, Larry Wall, Perl's creator, gave his State Of The Onion in the same room, and reviewed my lightning talk like so:

    _   /|
    'o.O'
    =(___)=
    U    ack --thpppt!
    

    Well, if you're gonna get dissed, might as well be by Larry, right? To read why he disagrees with me, see his just-published transcription of the State Of The Onion. I agree with his points, and yet, my core concerns about "scripting" being seen as not really programming still stand. How to combine the two?

  • Simple Apache/FastCGI/Catalyst configuration

    Leon Brocard posted this minimalist Apache configuration that covers Catalyst and FastCGI.

    I keep seeing more people not using mod_perl. Leon calls mod_perl "very bloated." Thoughts?

  • A couple of happy new Perl users

    Ask Bjørn Hansen pointed me at a posting called Perl -- An Awesome Programming Language. I have to agree, of course, although some of his assertions could use some gentle re-education, such as "the only drawback with Perl is that it usually is not compiled, but interpreted. One disadvantage because of this is that the user cannot just type the name of your program to run it." Nonetheless, we're glad to have Matt Mik added to our fold.

    My Google Alerts also turned up a user who was converted to Perl because of the ease with which he could use WWW::Mechanize as a web scraper. Does my heart good to know that he was reading Spidering Hacks, although it makes me feel a little old to have a book from 2003 talk about Mech.

  • How to: Tell your users they are not worth your time

    If you're a programmer, you're writing programs for your users. You are there performing a service for your users, not the other way around. Here's an excellent way to insult your users by letting them know that they are not worth one minute of your time:

    print "Now showing $n item(s)";
    

    The parenthetical (s) as a shorthand for saying "This could be singular or plural and still let me off the hook" is a throwback to times before computers, when people worked on paper forms. It is now unacceptable.

    my $s = ($n == 1) ? '' : 's';
    print "Now showing $n item$s";
    

    Is it a pain to write that out? Hardly. Maybe a twinge of discomfort at worst. However, to take the shortcut of (s) says that you are so lazy as a programmer that you don't care about the user, and it says that every single time the user sees that message.